Mercedes had a positive start to their Turkish Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished the Friday practice sessions as, respectively, the second and fourth fastest drivers.
A very wet start to the day gave both drivers the chance to do some laps on the extreme wet Pirelli tyre, before evaluating the hard and soft compounds of the dry tyre in the afternoon.
Rosberg, who was second in both the morning and the afternoon, completed 43 laps. “We have made a decent start to the weekend and I am optimistic for tomorrow,” he said. “We had a productive afternoon and tried a lot of things with the car. I didn’t have too many problems with the tyres on the long run and I was quite surprised by the grip levels, which were higher than I expected. The wet tyres had a lot of grip this morning too. I’m happy with what we learned and expecting a very interesting time tomorrow and on Sunday.”
Schumacher had an eventful morning, spinning three times, presumably as he tested the limits of the grip provided by the extreme wet tyres. Like his team-mate, the seven-time world champion also sounded very positive about the performance of the MGP W02.
“We had quite a positive Friday, and it was especially good that we were able to test both wet and dry tyres,” he said. “I hadn’t really driven the wets so I’m pleased that I finally had some opportunity to use them. Also, my sessions were quite eventful with three spins in Turn 11.
“All in all, our car confirmed the performance improvement from China, so we can look forward to the rest of the weekend. We still have some questions relating to the set-up but I am confident we will sort them out tomorrow.”
Team Principal Ross Brawn echoed his drivers’ sentiments, but said that there was still room for improvement this weekend.
“We had a reasonably good day and it was nice to get a lot of work done,” he commented. “We had a good opportunity this morning to see what the car was like in the wet conditions. It was also the first time that Michael had really driven the car in the wet, so that’s useful as the conditions this weekend could still be mixed. Then we had a nice dry session this afternoon and completed a lot of work on low and high fuel. The balance of the car isn’t there yet and there is a lot of work ahead, but the team and drivers have worked very well today.”